The Peace Accord and the demobilization of FARC combatants is, in many ways, seen as a success story. But the Government still struggles to establish a meaningful presence in remote locations and finds it difficult to provide basic services, security, and law and order provisions for communities that remain highly vulnerable. In the absence of FARC, and while the Government is still trying to establish a stronger security presence, violent conflict continues as FARC dissident groups have taken up arms and continue to fight or have joined other organized armed groups that are taking advantage of the security vacuum, predominantly in areas along the Pacific Coast region.
There are officially more than seven and a half million IDPs registered in Colombia, and there were about 139,000 new displacement in 2017. Significant humanitarian concerns still exist.
Colombia is also facing a growing crisis from the influx of Venezuelans that are leaving their own country as a consequence of an imploding economy, hyper-inflation, poverty, food insecurity, fear of persecution, and insecurity amongst other things. In April 2018, Colombia’s immigration officials reported that around 750,000 Venezuelans were present in Colombia.
The Peer-2-Peer project was invited to visit Colombia by the Humanitarian Coordinator (HC) to look at opportunities to strengthen the humanitarian operation. The invitation was extended to the peer-2-Peer Project before the mixed migration crisis became a significant concern. But by the time the mission team deployed to Colombia, the situation in Venezuela had significantly deteriorated, and the mixed migration crisis had evolved into a crisis of a substantial proportion. Consequently the Peer-2-peer mission was requested to look into the situation regarding the conflict driven humanitarian concerns, and the cross-border flow of Venezuelans and other people with protection concerns prior to the scale up of a UNHCR/IOM led mixed migration response.
The Peer-2-Peer mission team included two core members of the Peer-2-Peer team, and senior representatives from UNHCR, UNDP, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and Actin Contre Le Faim (ACF).
The mission took place in April 2018. The mission report and HCT Action Plan are available on request from the Peer-2-Peer Support Project. The Humanitarian Coordinator is requested to provide an Update Report on progress against the Action Plan, to the Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC) at the end of November 2018.